We begin life on Team Adam with Delvin Choice, a Starbucks barista (lest we are ever not reminded) who has been consistently fabulous all season long. Going into the performance, Adam’s concerns about Delvin are few and far between, and certainly nothing Delvin couldn’t handle.
Singing “Let’s Stay Together,” Delvin keeps it cool and classy and stool-bound (as you know, there’s nothing more promising than getting a stool-bound performance, as disgusting as that sounds). Delvin’s been a powerhouse this year and it was a treat to hear him tone it down a little bit—still showing off huge chops, but keeping it simmering like a delicious vocal crock pot. This is the kind of thing Sisaundra Lewis needs to do, lest she become less like an exciting volcano and more like Old Faithful. But ah, back to Delvin. He's quickly becoming the one to beat here.
Based on Adam’s bountiful praise at the end, there’s approximately zero chance that Delvin won’t go through to the live rounds. One down, four to go.
Second on the plate is Jake Barker, the YouTuber-turned-bartender who is our resident hoodie-wearer and/or Bonobos model. Jake is one of this year’s contestants whom I actually grow less fond of with each week. He’s got the look and the generic “Do you have this Henley in a boys’ junior large?” style but he also comes across as moderately smug, like he knows just how rare it is to have a nice jawline and a pleasant falsetto. Well you can’t have both, Jake Barker. I loved you once. I put you at #4 on my power list. Ugh, what was I even THINKING, bro?
For his song choice, Jake boldly chooses “She Will Be Loved,” setting himself up for an inevitably awful comparison to Adam. It’s a promise he immediately makes good on by being pitchy, unexciting, and overall just nowhere near good enough for where we are in the competition right now. The way he adds what he THINKS is a money note at the very end of the song is also infuriating for absolutely no reason.
The coaches essentially hedge from saying that Jake is a dud, and truly, it’s a shame when beauty goes to waste, but that’s what happens when you do meth (or when you sing poorly, same difference).
Third up is Kat Perkins. Now, I’m prepared for everyone to hate me here, but I’m not on the Kat train. I think the best way to vocalize my ambivalence towards Kat is that I don’t feel like she is a genuine rocker (especially not when she has that awful cat ear headband). In my opinion, Kat seems to be trying too hard to look the way she sounds (which is, admittedly, wonderful, but still). She thinks darkness is her ally, but she merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it.
I know Kat has her fans, but I think she’s just fine. You want a rocker chick? Try Juliet Simms from season two. That was a singer who brought invigorating new life to classic rock songs. Performance-wise, Kat does your standard Voice/Idol/X Factor rendition of “Open Arms,” because why wouldn’t she? A Journey song is difficult and challenging, Adam says, but I think it’s also among the safer rock selections for a singer like Kat. My wildly unpopular opinion is invalidated by Adam saying it’s the greatest thing to happen on The Voice, like, ever.
Why am I maligning Kat for being good? Because we've seen this accessible rock chick act before. But I can also recognize the inherent value in her spot in the competition, as she’s the only labeled female rocker left. I’m open to giving her another chance as long as she gives up this whole Hot Topic: Mom Edition thing that just feels put on.
NEXT: Grimmie’s fairy tale